Interdisciplinary Studies

Associate Graduate Deans Allan Headley and Wendell Aycock, Coordinators.

The Master of Arts or Master of Science degree program in Interdisciplinary Studies is intended for students who wish to continue education at the graduate level but do not seek specialized training concentrated in a major area. This program is not a substitute for the traditional master's degree; rather, it is designed for students with broader interests in several fields or for those whose career goals do not match fully with a single identifiable academic unit or department. Emphasis is placed on continued intellectual and cultural development in a constantly changing society where new career interests may extend over several traditional specializations.

Each program, exclusive of those tracks with required courses, is developed individually according to the student's interests and background. Among the few restrictions are the requirements that work be taken in at least three different subject areas and that no more than 12 hours be presented in any one area. Also, no more than 18 hours may be taken within a single college, except Arts and Sciences. Most students pursue the 36-hour, nonthesis plan, but the thesis may be appropriate in occasional circumstances where the student's previous work seems to qualify him or her for research.

The standard admission policy for applicants to other degree programs will apply to those seeking admission to the interdisciplinary master's program. Applicants must submit satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores and undergraduate records. Students must have a 3.0 GPA on previous graduate work. For further information, contact the coordinator of the program in the Graduate School office.

Students normally select areas of study that meet their own educational and career requirements, as described above. However, a number of study themes are identified in the following paragraphs that provide somewhat more specialized focus, while maintaining the interdisciplinary nature of the program as originally approved.

Arid-Land Studies and International Development. Students may devise a plan of study focusing on aspects of international development in various parts of the world. This theme will be oriented to applied knowledge and international issues in general. Another theme addresses specifically the problems of arid and semi-arid lands. Students may take courses in several departments to satisfy the requirements in either of these areas. For further details, contact Dr. Kary Mathis, Director of the International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies, or Dr. Gary S. Elbow, Director, Center for Applied International Development Studies.

Environmental Evaluation. Students may gain a holistic view of environmental evaluation by taking courses that focus upon problems and techniques relating to natural resources and their utilization. Work in geography, geology, land and water management, atmospheric sciences, and other disciplines is tailored to each student's interests. Persons interested in this plan should contact Dr. Jeff Lee, Department of Geography.

Fine Arts Management. Courses relating to management in the fine arts may be taken in a plan leading to the degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Courses in public administration and business administration as well as in the arts develop management leadership for fine arts institutions and governmental agencies. The Fine Arts Doctoral Committee provides counsel and supervision for this plan within the Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Applied Linguistics. Courses relating to theoretical, descriptive, historical, and applied study of language structure and use may be selected in a plan leading to the degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Studies in anthropology, bilingual education, psychology, and communication studies as well as in the various languages (English, Spanish, French, German) will provide a comprehensive understanding of the discipline. Interested students may contact Dr. Rosslyn M. Smith, Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures. See also "Applied Linguistics" in this section of the catalog for information on another area of interest.

Occupational Safety and Health. This interdisciplinary course of study prepares students to identify and evaluate hazardous workplace conditions, to develop programs for accident prevention and control, and to gain ergonomic expertise related to occupational safety and health. Courses in human physiology, safety, air pollution control technology, ergonomics, analytical instrumentation, and other areas highlight the link between people and machines. Engineering background is helpful but not essential; the selection is sufficiently flexible for a diversity of interests. For further details contact Dr. M.M. Ayoub, Department of Industrial Engineering.

Peirce Studies. Charles Sanders Peirce (1839-1914), a true American genius, made major contributions to logic, mathematics, language studies, history of science, specific areas of science such as chemistry and physics, and philosophy, among others. Currently, his ideas are being explored in fields as diverse as semeiotic and artificial intelligence. Students enrolled in Peirce studies will normally take 6 to 9 hours of PRAG 5000 and at least 30 additional hours in several defined areas, depending upon each student's future educational or occupational goals. For details, contact the program director, Dr. Kenneth Laine Ketner, Director, Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism, 806-742-3128.

Women's Studies. The interdisciplinary concentration of graduate work focuses on the changing position of women in society. Selected courses are offered in history, sociology, anthropology, and psychology with related work available in business administration, the humanities, and other areas of the social sciences. An emphasis on women's studies may be pertinent to careers in education, management, and personnel relations, and in the administration and delivery of social services to families, women, and children. Interested students should contact Dr. Gwen Sorell, Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Courses in Interdisciplinary Studies. (IS)

5000. Graduate Directed Studies (V1-12). Prerequisite: Consent of Coordinator. Advanced studies in developing cultural understanding. Projects to be assessed by faculty committee.

5001. Graduate Studies Abroad (V1-12). Prerequisite: Consent of Office of International Affairs. Advanced individual studies in interdisciplinary, international, and /or multicultural experiences.

5301. The Nature of Science for Teachers (3:3:0). Interdisciplinary course for teachers providing an overview of science and scientific inquiry. Special emphasis on research methods.

6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).

7000. Research (V1-12).

Courses in Pragmaticism. (PRAG)

5000. Independent Research in Peirce Studies (V1-6). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Directed interdisciplinary inquiry in Peirce studies. May be repeated for credit.

Courses in Women's Studies. (WS)

5000. Practicum in Women's Studies (V1-6). Practicum experience involving women-centered projects, activities, or artistic expressions that are socially and/or communally relevant.

5300. Directed Studies (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and the Coordinator of Women's Studies. Content will vary to meet the needs of students. May be repeated three times for credit, as topic varies.

5310. Feminist Thought and Theories (3:3:0). An examination of important theoretical writings and perspectives in Women's Studies, including the contributions of feminist theory and analysis to traditional disciplines.

5320. Feminist Research Methodologies (3:3:0). Prerequisite: W S 5310 or consent of instructor. An interdisciplinary study of methods, analyses, and critiques used by feminist scholars to study feminist issues within and between a range of traditional disciplines.

Other Options. Studies of an interdisciplinary nature offer almost limitless combinations. Students may select from almost the entire Graduate Catalog and from the graduate offerings of the School of Law and Health Sciences Center. Those interested in a customized program should contact Associate Deans Allan Headley or Wendell Aycock in the Graduate School.

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